Lance & Livestrong.

Lance Armstrong, finishing third in the Tour de France, will be 38 in September. Places one and two are held by people ages 24 and 25. I have a friend, late 30s, who went back to school to retrain as a nurse, having been dislodged from her career by the recession. My friend comments frequently about her “advanced” age compared to the 20-year-olds in her classes. “Old” creeps into the conversation from time to time. I’ve texted her to consider Lance. Age really doesn’t matter. Sure, talent, preparation, and commitment help (my friend has a bounty of all three). There may be many reasons to not do something. For most, it really isn’t age. Let’s get to it. For example, running for office or a commission or a board.

Speaking of Lance, another friend, Frank, rode with him on some annual Houston to Austin bike ride for a couple of years. Frank was incredibly fit as a runner, spinner, and cycler. He fought back cancer for five years before dying in 2003. Livestrong was starting up then. I’m checking out the Livestrong website while keeping an eye on the Tour’s end this morning. How serious is Lance’s cancer campaign?

Well. It’s the real deal with real people. There must be photos of Lance somewhere but I haven’t seen one. There are a number of references to him and his blog, but the site is all about everybody, as it says, affected by cancer. All these beautiful faces from walks, runs, volunteer posts, conferences, and, yes, bike rides. So many resources and connections, too! I wish Livestrong had been around for Frank. Frank had tremendous support from his Houston medical team, his amazing wife, Barbara and son, Rick, the rest of his family, and his devoted friends. Still, I think Livestrong would have made it easier for Frank to channel all that he wanted to give to the fight against cancer, for others affected by cancer. Check it out if you haven’t. Good to know all this is available.

The race is over. All the adorable cyclists, young and “old,” are now claiming their prizes, wearing ball caps to cover helmet hair. Back to real life for them and for us, living strong. LLII.

ps. so where are the women? Apparently there is a shorter bike race in France for women, but the men’s Tour owner, a media company, doesn’t support it. Not much money in women’s cycling; therefore, little publicity. As always, one weakness propagates another. Columbia HTC, a US cycling organization and one of the powers in this year’s Tour, sponsors a women’s team. Let’s see if Armstrong’s new organization, under the sponsorship of Radio Shack, does.

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